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Ezekiel leads Hill United Chief past J&B Painting in ISC World Tournament

Friday, August 14th, 2015

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Blair Ezekiel drove in three runs on three hits, including a home run to lead the Chiefs past J&B Painting, 8-0, Thursday, in the ISC World Tournament semifinals.

The win advances the defending champion Chiefs (4-0) into Friday’s winner bracket final where they will take on the A1 Bombers of New York. The Bombers (4-0) beat the New York Gremlins, 2-0, in the other semifinal on Devon McCullough’s one-hitter.

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IN BATTLE OF TOP PITCHERS, JONES TOPS FOLKARD

Sunday, July 5th, 2015
Venezuela's Ramon Jones turned in a dominating pitching performance in a 4-0 victory over Australia in the medal round playoffs of the 2015 ISF Men's World Softball Championship, Saturday.

Venezuela’s Ramon Jones turned in a dominating pitching performance in a 4-0 victory over Australia in the medal round playoffs of the 2015 ISF Men’s World Softball Championship, Saturday.

SASKATOON, SK, Canada – Ramon Jones versus Adam Folkard.

Venezuela’s talented workhorse versus Australia’s ace, the fastest throwing pitcher on the planet.

Jones and Folkard have proven in the 14th ISF World Softball Championship that they are the two best pitchers in the world of men’s fastpitch softball.

They were destined to meet in the 16-team tournament. And Saturday night they did.

One team would win and stay alive in pursuit of a gold, silver or bronze medal, while the other would head for home, with a fourth-place finish.

    JONES AT HIS BEST

This time around, Jones and Venezuela came away the winner, besting Folkard and Australia for a 4-0 victory that moves Venezuela into Sunday’s coveted medal day in which they can finish with no less than a bronze.

Jones was simply brilliant in leading Venezuela to its third win in the playoffs. The right-hander with the best drop ball in the game, held Australia to just one hit over seven innings with a walk and 11 strikeouts. His victory comes on the heels of beating the Dominican Republic 3-0 on a one-hitter with nine strikeouts earlier on Saturday.

    HOMERS FOLKARD’S UNDOING

Folkard, who has pitched nearly every inning for his country, wasn’t quite as sharp as he needed to be. He only allowed five hits, but two of them were game-busters.

Edwin Linares blasted a solo home run in the second inning, which actually was the game-winner. Then Luiger Pinto sunk Australia’s dreams of a gold medal when he launched a three-run homer in the third.

Iran Perez and Rogello Sequera both singled to set up Pinto’s blast.

Folkard allowed just one hit and a walk the rest of the way, but the damage was done as Jones closed out the Steelers in the seventh with his 10th and 11th strikeouts to move Venezuela on to Sunday’s Bronze Medal game with Canada.

    BACK-TO-BACK OUSTINGS

It is the second consecutive ISF world championship that Venezuela has eliminated Australia. In 2013, the two teams met in the Bronze Medal game with Venezuela coming away with a 2-0 win. Venezuela went on to take the Silver Medal, losing 4-1 to Gold Medalist New Zealand.

Adam Folkard pitched superbly and nearly every inning for Australia.

Adam Folkard pitched superbly and nearly every inning for Australia.

    AUSSIE GREAT GIVES HIS ALL

Throughout the 2015 ISF world championship, Australia has leaned heavily on Folkard as left-hander Andrew Kirkpatrick was injured and unable to help in the circle.

Australia finishes with a 5-2 record in Pool B, and 1-2 in the playoffs, in which the Steelers lost 8-3 to Canada, and beat Japan 3-0.

Folkard certainly gave his all as he appeared in eight games, hurling 50 innings in which he allowed just 28 hits, struck out 82 batters, issued 12 walks, had an ERA of 1.68 and leaves the world championship with a personal 5-2 record.

    JONES SOLDIERS ON

However, Jones has been better, pitching in 10 games over 41 2/3 innings for a 1.18 ERA. He has given up 19 hits and 10 walks, while striking out 62 batters. He continues on in the playoffs, and will try and improve his 6-1 record against Canada Sunday morning.

Erick Urbaneja (2-0) has pitched just 11 2/3 innings. With gold gleaming so close and so temptingly, Venezuela has to hand the ball to Jones and ride their workhorse as far as he can go.

    SUNDAY’S MEDAL DAY SCHEDULE
  • Venezuela vs. Canada, Bronze Medal game, 10:30 PDT
  • Winner vs. New Zealand, Gold Medal game, 1:30
  • To watch live, visit Sports Canada TV .

    Norton blasts lifts Australia over Japan in ISF Men’s World Softball Championship

    Saturday, July 4th, 2015

    SASKATOON, SK, Canada – For five innings, the Australia Steelers struggled at the plate against Japan’s Kento Okazaki. The right-hander had held the Aussies to two hits in a scoreless deadlock with Steelers’ pitcher Adam Folkard.

    But in the sixth inning, Aussie catcher Nick Norton changed all that with one swing of his bat. The right-side hitter blasted a three-run home run over the center field fence giving Folkard all the runs he would need in closing out Japan, 3-0, in the championship round playoffs, Saturday afternoon.

    Okazaki hit Zenon Winter with a pitch to lead off the sixth, and one-out later, Nick Shailes bounced a single through the third base-shortstop hole. Andrew Kirkpatrick lofted a towering infield pop-up for the second out.

    And that brought Norton to the plate, and his line drive homer easily cleared the fence for the game-winner. For his efforts, Norton was named “The Player of The Game” by the Ballpark Radio broadcasting crew.

    The game was close throughout with hits hard to come by. Okazaki came away the hard luck pitcher, allowing just three hits, three runs, three walk with five strikeouts.

    Folkard (5-1, 43 innings, 1.30 ERA, 72 strikeouts) continued his dominance in the world softball championship by holding Japan to five hits, one walk with 12 strikeouts.

    Australia also beat Japan in the opening round robin game of Pool A in another close encounter; that time squeezing out a 1-0 win.

    The win moves Australia (1-1 playoffs, 6-3 overall) along in the playoffs where the Steelers will meet the winner between the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, late Saturday.

    Folkard and Australia overpower USA in ISF Men’s World Softball Championship

    Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

    folkard Adam Folkard held the United States two one hit in Australia’s 8-0 victory, Wednesday, in Pool B of the 2015 ISF Men’s World Softball Championship.

    SASKATOON, SK, Canada – Give the world’s best fastpitch pitcher a couple of runs and odds are the game’s over. Give him two field goals and a safety and it’s guaranteed.

    The United States did just that and came up on the short end of an 8-0 loss to Australia and its dominating right-hander Adam Folkard on Wednesday. Folkard is considered by many fastpitch experts as the best pitcher in the game today.

    In the second inning, Mark Harris provided all the run support Folkard would need when he blasted a grand-slam home run over the left field fence that turned a close one-run game into a 5-0 blowout.

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    Checkout Online version of the 2014 ISC Championship Guide

    Sunday, June 15th, 2014

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    Adam Folkard led Six Nations Ontario Hill Untied Chiefs to the 2013 ISC World Tournament championship with a 6-0 record and a perfect 0.00 ERA in 36 innings. He allowed just seven hits, no earned runs, four walks and struck 79. Folkard, an Australian, was named the LeRoy Zimmerman Most Outstanding Pitcher, and was selected a First-Team, All-World pitcher.

    FINDLAY, Ohio – The ISC World Championship Guide just gets better each year. The game stories, statistics, line scores, photos, Hall of Fame bios, all-time records information…and much, much more is worth your time to peruse.

    ISC Executive Director Larry Fisher and ISC VP Operations / Guide Editor Blair Setford and a host of valuable staff members have once again produced a product remarkable in the information that if offers about the International Softball Congress and the organization’s annual World Tournament.

    So be sure to check out the Online version of the 2014 ISC Championship Guide

    And if you want to order a hard copy (for just $15 U.S.) visit: ISC Guide Pre-Order.

    USA drops opener to Australia in ISF Men’s World Championship

    Friday, March 1st, 2013

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    Australian pitcher Adam Folkard hurled Australia to victory over the United States in the 13th International Softball Federation World Championship on March 1.

    AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Beating the world’s best fastpitch softball pitcher can by a daunting task. And many in the world of men’s club teams, believe Australian Adam Folkard the best in the game today.

    The United States national team may second that assessment after Folkard hurled a two-hit, 12 strikeout gem in leading Australia to a 6-0 victory over Team USA in the opening game for both teams in the 13th ISF World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand on March 1.

    While Folkard held Team USA scoreless, his teammates gave him a three-run cushion in the second inning, and added single runs in each of the third through fifth innings to complete their scoring in the 16-team international tournament that runs March 1-10.

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    Ten-point plan for softball development can succeed

    Wednesday, July 28th, 2010


    Mark Long is a former softballer who pitched Australia to its first World Championship Gold Medal in young men’s fastpitch softball age 19-Under in 1997. He created and now manages Australia’s leading high school based health program Eat It Work It Move It

    By MARK LONG
    Reporter and Columnist
    Camden Advertiser

    CAMDEN, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA – “Girls play fast pitch, boys play baseball.”

    A quote heard at a lot of ball parks across the U.S. when the issue of junior boys or lack thereof pops up. Another favourite is, “It’s not like Australia or New Zealand where boys play.”

    Just focussing on Australia the plain and simple truth is that boys don’t play softball en masse.

    In summer, many play cricket, Australia’s national summer pastime.

    In winter it is often one of four of the versions of football.

    Of course there are many other sports played by kids across the country, but boy’s fastpitch softball doesn’t break into the top 20.
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